Darin Gorski Tames River Cats in Las Vegas 51s 5-1 Win
After struggling against El Paso five days ago, left-hander Darin Gorski was looking to rebound. He entered the game 2-2 with a 6.58 ERA, but had given the club hope. He looked good in his two previous starts before the El Paso matchup, but the Chihuahuas roughed up the left-hander casting some doubts on where his future lay. A big start was needed to buoy the confidence of the club and Gorski himself, and he delivered by allowing just one run in six innings, as the Las Vegas 51s beat the Sacramento River Cats 5-1 for their 18th win in 20 games.
The 51s jumped out in front in the second inning. Eric Campbell, who has been ridiculously hot since being sent to Las Vegas, led off the inning with a single to left. One out later Cory Vaughn singled moving Campbell to second. Following a Nelfi Zapata fly out, Danny Muno singled into right field. Juan Perez had no play at the plate, but attempted to throw out Vaughn who was heading for third. The ball sailed on Perez, allowing Vaughn to score as well, and staking Las Vegas to a 2-0 lead.
The River Cats responded with a run in the top of the third. With two outs Darren Ford hit a slow roller that Gorski had no play on. He then stole second, his sixth stolen base of the season. Ehire Adrianza followed with a hit just out of the reach of Alex Castellanos that fell for a double, scoring Ford to make it 2-1.
In the fifth the 51s would start a stretch of three straight innings where they scored a single run in each frame. With two outs Gorski would help his own cause with a double into left field. It was Gorski’s third double of the season. Kyle Johnson followed with a double of his own, scoring Gorski and restoring the two run lead.
In the sixth Campbell crushed a line drive home run that sailed over the left-center field wall to make it 4-1. It was Campbell’s fourth home run since coming to Las Vegas, and his second homer of the series.
In the top of the seventh John Bowker led off with a double for Sacramento. That would be it for Gorski. The left-hander pitched a gem, allowing just four hits and two walks in six innings of work, while striking out five.
Zach Thornton entered the game in relief. Ronny Cedeno laid down a perfect bunt that moved Bowker to third. Carlos Triunfel then hit a shallow fly ball to right field that was not deep enough to score Bowker. Jarrett Parker walked and stole second, putting the tying run at the plate. Thornton remained calm, getting Ford to ground out to third to end the threat.
In the bottom of the seventh the Las Vegas 51s added an insurance run. With Cory Gearrin pitching, Muno led off with a single. He stole second and scored when Johnson grounded a base hit to left field.
In the top of the eighth the River Cats drew two walks with one out, and Las Vegas turned to John Church to keep Sacramento from mounting a rally. He retired the side in the eighth and returned in the ninth to close out the game for his first save of the season. Gorski (3-2) recorded the win, and Ty Blach (3-3) took the loss for Sacramento.
For the second straight day Campbell went 3-4 against Sacramento with a home run. He is now hitting .457 in 14 games. Johnson also had three hits and drove in two runs.
These two teams square off again at 7:05 local time tomorrow evening. Clayton Blackburn (0-1, 3.60) will start for Sacramento against the Las Vegas 51s Duane Below (2-1, 1.56).
By Robert Pannier